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Animal Rescue Operations Underway in Flooded Bihar, India
Date:9/9/2008

BIHAR, India, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Entire villages have been washed away in India's northern state of Bihar after a deadly combination of monsoon rains and a dam burst caused a deluge that spreads over countless miles of farming land. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare -- http://www.ifaw.org) deployed an Emergency Relief team to the impacted area and has since treated and fed over 6000 starving livestock that escaped the fury of the catastrophic floods.

On August 18th, a flash flood resulting from a broken embankment on the river Kosi in neighbouring Nepal swept away thousands of human beings and animals with many villages wiped off the face of the earth. Millions of people and cattle are staying in makeshift camps made out of plastic sheets and bamboo. The army and para-military forces have also put up tented camps.

Coordinating with the government rescue and relief machinery, the 10-member team, which includes veterinarians and animal care staff, has been making daily forays inside the flood hit areas by boat and by four wheel drives wherever possible.

"The footprint of the flood is huge and we have been concentrating only in a small but very badly affected area in the Araria and Supaul district," said Dr. Anjan Talukdar, IFAW team veterinarian. The team is also being helped by volunteers from IFAW's Emergency Relief Network in India.

Although the water is slowly receding and has drained out of several villages in the two districts, the people are unable to return home. Locals estimate the number of cattle in the area to be about 24,000. Many more are still marooned in the interiors with no food for three weeks now. As the water level recedes, the rotting carcasses of many animals that are not being saved from the floods could pose a threat of spreading diseases. The ER team is travelling to marooned areas to help animals as well as educating animal ow
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SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare
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